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The Michaela Way

Last week,  I joined the growing number of people who have visited Michaela Community School to see it action.   I’ve read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers and numerous blogs and articles about the school from its teachers and visitors – so it was great to see what it is really like to put … Continue reading

10 Must-Read Books for Better Teaching

This selection is my current top ten book recommendations for teachers.  I’ve chosen books that have influenced or challenged my thinking significantly, contain really useful, practical ideas for excellent teaching rooted in sound principles and/or cover important theoretical fundamentals about learning, curriculum and assessment.  There are others I could have included… but here’s the ten … Continue reading

More issues with Progress 8.

In this post I’m going to set out a few of the issues I see with the use of Progress 8 data, especially as one of the indicators of school effectiveness in inspections and in general school-to-school comparison and evaluation. For further reading on Progress 8, you want also wish to read the following: My … Continue reading

New Start: @TeacherHead

Today marked a new beginning in lots of ways. For various reasons that I’ll explore at another time, as of Friday 20th, I am no longer the Headteacher at Highbury Grove School.  I wish everyone associated with the school the very best.  I hope that students find joy and fulfilment in their future lives and … Continue reading

Geoff Barton: Head; Teacher; Leader. Vote #ASCLBarton

With just under a week to go until the voting deadline, I’ve decided to end my self-imposed blog sabbatical to join the throng of school and academy leaders who have voiced their support for Geoff Barton in the election for General Secretary of ASCL. This election has huge significance for me as a member of … Continue reading

Grammar Schools: Schools that don’t work for everyone.

Having previously been the Head of KEGS, a super-selective grammar school in Chelmsford, for six years, I’ve been asked by lots of people to comment on the latest proposals to extend selection.  Here are my thoughts: Very simply, it’s a bad idea.  By definition, grammar schools do not work for everyone.  The Green Paper title … Continue reading

Big Questions 1. Assessment

The first in this series on Big Questions, explores some aspects of assessment.  I’ve explored this issue extensively in some previous posts that might be worth revisiting for additional context: Assessment, Standards and the Bell Curve Defining the Butterfly: knowing the standards to set the standards The Assessment Uncertainty Principle Authentic Assessment and Progress: Keeping … Continue reading

My lesson observation feedback.

On Friday the Head of Maths observed my Year 7 lesson.  Today I had the feedback. It was incredibly useful; the whole process has been extremely positive.  The context is that, although I’ve taught A Level and GCSE maths several times, I’ve never taught Set 3 in Year 7 before.  I’m a novice in this … Continue reading

The Big Questions.

I am thinking of starting a series of blogs about the key issues, the big questions,  that we wrestle with in our school – and probably in every school.  So far, I have just sketched out what some of the big questions are. This will then become the homepage for this series -when I get … Continue reading

Teachers, support staff, classrooms, school: incredible people, incredible place.

Reflecting on the last couple of weeks at Highbury Grove, I’m struck by just how amazing the work is that we do.  I was sitting in an incredible maths lesson thinking: what’s happening here is extraordinary.  All of these complicated young people and their teacher are wrapped up in a process that is so complex, … Continue reading

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